The retired New Yorker has not fought since he was stopped by Sam Eggington but has been invited to spar with McGregor ahead of his boxing debut
Conor McGregor wants former world champ to help prepare for Mayweather battle
Conor McGregor has called on former two-time world champion Paulie Malignaggi to help him prepare for Floyd Mayweather.
The retired New Yorker has not fought since he was stopped by Birmingham’s Sam Eggington in March.
But he revealed he has been invited to spar with McGregor ahead of his boxing debut in Las Vegas on August 26.
“I did get called to go into camp with Conor McGregor,” Malignaggi said on his podcast. “I was surprised. I haven’t really been training, I haven’t been in the gym. So I’ve started working out a little bit. I’m working out the details to spar with McGregor.
“It’s interesting that they called me, in general. As people know, I’ve announced my retirement. It’s a good opportunity for me to lose a little bit of weight and get in shape, and also take part in a training camp without me actually having to make weight, which is fun.”
Malignaggi called out McGregor last year when the UFC champion was granted a boxing license in California.
But the 36-year-old added: “I did call him out, and I think that shows the character of the man. He could have said, ‘Screw that kid, he called me out, I’m not going to put him in my training camp’. I think it shows the competitive spirit and the willingness to want to learn, on the part of McGregor.
“It shows you how hungry he is. He put that pride aside. It’s not easy to put pride aside, especially when you’re a fighter. It makes me respect him a little bit more.”
The Irishman is also sparring with countryman Tiernan Bradley who won silver at the 2015 Commonwealth Youth Games.
Malignaggi won 36 of his 44 professional fights but suffered defeats by Amir Khan, Ricky Hatton and Danny Garcia.
He will be part of the Showtime commentary team when McGregor and Mayweather touch gloves later this summer.